Water result! Kids set to have a splashing time...

Hannah Wiseman's two sons enjoying a splash, Dan, three, and Jim, five.

Hannah Wiseman's two sons enjoying a splash, Dan, three, and Jim, five. - Credit: Archant

Hitchin parents and children are set for a splashing time next summer after plans were revealed for a fun water feature in the town.

North Herts District Council has agreed to a new splash park at Bancroft Recreation Ground.

A Heritage Lottery Fund application to help pay for the refurbishment of the area was dismissed in August because Hitchin was not deemed ‘deprived’ enough with the site only having ‘medium heritage importance’ – and a re-submission of a revised scheme would still be required to go through a competitive bidding process with no guarantee of success.

But a report to the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday next week states: “Due to their popularity at other sites it is recommended the first phase of the improvements should include the construction of an interactive water play feature and associated toilet and baby-changing facilities.

“Subject to the approval of a revenue growth bid of £15,000 per annum, cabinet agrees to the inclusion of a water splash park and associated toilet and baby-changing provision for Bancroft Recreation Ground in the capital programme for 2015/16.

“The proposals offer opportunities for a wide range of people to use the recreation ground, and through the provision of a free-to-use water splash feature, would benefit the significant number of younger families who have settled in the town in recent years.”

Hitchin mother-of-three Hannah Wiseman said: “I am delighted with having a splash park in Bancroft. I have been rooting for it for years.”

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The estimated cost will be around £160,000 – with the price for the conversion of an existing disused toilet facility in the bowls pavilion is estimated at £30,000.

It is expected £10,000 will be needed maintain the facility on an annual basis, with £5,000 a year being set aside to clean and service a new toilet area.

It could also cost an extra £45,000 a year in staffing costs, community activities and training plans.

The facility would be expected to run from early June to early September 2015 with the splash area ‘season’ set to last between 12 to 14 weeks next summer.

Previous plans for the recretation ground had included a cafe, electricity supply in the grandstand, and alternations to the pedestrian access.